Darren “Hot Sauce” Hardesty Jr. showed the consistency that won him the Pro Buggy Championship in 2016 with back to back podium finishes during rounds 1 and 2 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. He may have made it look easy, but a lot of hard work went into the car in the off season. Hot Sauce knows that it’s much harder to stay hot, than it is to get hot.
“We made changes to the car to make it turn in easier,” said Darren, “The better the car turns, the less cutting brake we need to get through the corners. That gives us more speed. When we unloaded the car for practice, the car wasn’t great so we dropped the air pressure in our Mickey Thompson Tires. That slight change got the feel I was looking for; it worked perfectly with the spring rates we chose for our Bilstein shocks. We qualified 4th and the inversion drawn was a zero. I like starting 4th. It gives me a chance to size up the competition and it’s fun to get in there and mix it up a little.”
Darren’s crew had the Bilstein / Mickey Thompson Tires / Alumi Craft in top form for Sunday’s race too. Hot Sauce qualified 2nd and the inversion was 2. “We had another solid run and a 2nd place podium,” said Hot Sauce, “The track was rutted again but I have total confidence in the car. Bilstein, Off Road Warehouse, Mickey Thompson Tires, Impact, Lucas Oil, Bink Designs, Champion Spark Plugs, Alumi Craft Race Cars, Black Rhino, RacerX, and USA Wheels , allow us to be consistently competitive. We would have loved to taken a pair of wins last weekend, but with two podiums, we are ahead of where we started last year. We are heading to Mexico for the next two rounds. I love the track there in Ensenada, I love the people, and I love the food.”
With a nickname like Hot Sauce, it’s not surprising that Darren Loves Mexico, and the Mexican fans love Darren. The team was surrounded by fans all weekend when they ran in Ensenada last year. As defending Pro Buggy champion, his fan base is even larger this season. If you can make the race at Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico on May 20 – 21, you should go and see Hot Sauce race in person. For the latest news and information about Darren’s racing program go to: http://darrenhardestyjr.com/ where you will find fan information, race reports, photos, videos and much more.
Photography By: Bink Designs